Yorkshire Recipes

Baking

Oven Bottom Cakes

Oven Bottom Cakes are flat-breads, originally baked at a lower temperature at the bottom of an oven. The texture of the bread is traditionally quite compacted and chewy.

There are a range of names for these flat-breads in the North of England, including ‘Scufflers’, ‘Stotties’, Stotty Cakes, ‘Flatties’, and Barm Cakes. ‘Scufflers’ are traditionally shaped in rounds, dusted lightly with flour when baked, and split into triangles.

 

 

Here’s a recipe from the Mary Hanson Moore cookbook of traditional regional recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lb (675 g) strong white flour
  • Half-ounce fresh yeast (preferred) or  1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 oz (113 g) lard (or ‘Trex’ could be used as a lighter substitute)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Three-quarters of a pint (400 ml/15 fl oz) lukewarm water

Method

  1. Mix the flour, dried yeast, sugar and salt in a big bowl. If using fresh yeast, cream it with the sugar and a little of the water then add it to the flour and salt.
  2. Mix to a smooth dough with the rest of the water, knead, then leave to rise.
  3. Knock it back when risen.
  4. Cut the lard into small pieces and press these into the dough.
  5. Shape the dough into one big, or two smaller, flat rounds, leaving it lumpy with the lard.
  6. Put on to a greased baking sheet and leave to prove.
  7. When the dough has almost doubled in size, coat it with beaten egg, if you would like to see a darker colour, and bake it initially for 10 minutes on the bottom of a pre-heated oven at 425 F/mark 7/220 C, then reduce the temperature to 375 F/gas mark 5/190 C and bake for another 20-35 minutes (depending on whether you have cooked one large or two small loaves) until the bread reaches a golden colour. Test to see it is cooked by tapping the bottom of the bread – if it sounds hollow you should be in business!

Source: Mary Hanson Moore (1980) A Yorkshire  Cookbook.  Published by David & Charles.

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